Tales of the Madman Underground

Tales of the Madman Underground

An Historical Romance 1973

Book - 2009
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In September 1973, as the school year begins in his depressed Ohio town, high-school senior Kurt Shoemaker determines to be "normal," despite his chaotic home life with his volatile, alcoholic mother and the deep loyalty and affection he has for his friends in the therapy group dubbed the Madman Underground.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2009
ISBN: 9780670060818
Branch Call Number: YA F BAR


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Aug 06, 2017

Karl’s goal for his last year of high school is to be normal, and that means breaking away from the Madman Underground, a group forced to meet with a counselor once a week. Sometimes it was hard to keep track of all the different characters. Karl works five different jobs and hides his savings throughout his house where he hopes his alcoholic mother won’t find it. Karl is a recovering alcohol, yet this seems to be the thing he worries about the least. The book takes place during one week. Karl has a lot going on, but he prioritizes being a good friend and taking care of his mother over everything else. The most interesting point that Karl makes is that one group of students with incredibly heavy burdens and troubles in their life are going to school with kids who have no idea what other kids are going through. The book is about finding people who get you.

CRRL_CraigG Jun 26, 2015

Tales of the Madman Underground is not the feel-good read of this or any other year, and yet I am completely enchanted with its accuracy of teenage desperation. It fills me with hope to see how author John Barnes has so succinctly summed up the powerlessness and determination of youth.

Read more at: http://www.librarypoint.org/tales_of_the_madman_underground_barnes

Dec 10, 2012

SO powerful. Really combined a lot of issues and topics very nicely- home life, the 70's, school, work, friendship, emotional issues- EVERTHING, really. Sweet and bitter and funny and sad all mixed together, which made it a rare and perfect "real" story. Just amazing. Certainly have to check out the author's other books now.

PS- would recommend "Please Ignore Vera Dietz" if you liked this book.

Jul 04, 2011

Tales of the Madman Underground
By John Barnes
-Emily H, 15


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